Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Lies, Damned lies, and foreign investment.

So, it has been revealed by the Panama Papers that one foreign company is using a secret trust to hide approximately $150m dollars in investment in New Zealand. While Inland Revenue report that NZ$1.5b is being hidden by shell companies. Listening to the radio this morning, one DJ asked the question "If they are putting money into this country and creating more money why is it wrong?"

Firstly his question presents a false premise, the money added to the invested isn't emerging from a vacuum like energy from some Zero Point Module on Stargate. That money has already been created, and it is being drawn from the broad economy as fees, rents, interest payments. All the $150m is doing is capturing money like a magnet dropped in a box of paper clips. Over time, that fund may double, and eventually the investor will find an opportunity offering a better return rate, what happens then? They pull their investment and the collected returns, taking say $300m, leaving our country $150m down. And worst still they have not paid 1 cent in taxes here. They are freeloading on our nations good name and low corruption index, while 250,000 children live in poverty and thousands of Aucklanders are without a home. Mean while the minister for Revenue says "its not a problem" and the PM says it barking mad to describe New Zealand as a tax haven.
What being done? nothing obviously. What could be done, the world over we could and should tax all business activity in the country in which it occurs. Not where the corporation claims to be, Google is not an Irish Company unless you are reading their tax filings. It seems Corporations today are less patriotic than the fifth columnists of 80years ago.

This is just one of the many ways the 1% are bleeding this country and others dry. Now you can understand how parasitism really works in economics. Leaches and  flees invest anticoagulants so they can get a higher investment return. That is why they're bites itch so much.
The working people who may or may not be employed are the people who make the economy work, every dollar they get they put back into the community, as they buy food clothing, public transport, local body rates. This is much more of a commitment that the 1% who might spend as much as 5% of their income in the broad economy, occasionally buying a new luxury car, or penthouse.

Naturally there are those who say "go easy on the rich, they work to you know". Sure their nice offices, phone calls and stock trades over the internet really compare to the back breaking work of care giving the elder for minimum wage, burger flipping for long hours, or the black lung of coal miners. I get it, these poor billionaire are really struggling they don't even know where their next Concorde airliner is coming from.

This country is itching like a meth-addict after forty years of free-trade and foreign investment and still the Rentier in Chief John Key begs for more. Of course turkey never vote for Solstice feasts.

#smellEstablishmentDecomp and pass the Vaseline.

See also NZ Herald
   Daily Caller

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Why #smellEstablishmentDecomp and pass the Vaseline

For years the biggest media scandals were about someone shagging someone else they weren't supposed to. Now these scandals are trivial and widely recognised as self-indulgent puritanical distractions from today's real scandals. Money laundering, corruption, tax evasion, poisoned drinking water, radioactive monkey poop, massive numbers of children in 1st world nations living in poverty, even cars cheating emission tests, and US presidential candidates that want to punish women with one of them wanting to see women dead, all this as the economics for regular working people collapses under the dogma of "free trade". The UK is loosing its steel industry to imported Chinese steel, America lost 60,000 factories since 1990, and New Zealand has been loosing factories since the 1980s, and now Fischer & Paykel Appliances is a about to lose 180 jobs in Tamaki, because it can't compete with imports, and will be outsourcing manufacturing to South East Asia.

Just in case any one is wondering, The union has worked with the company to be as flexible as necessary to keep the factory going, and despite their efforts being described positively as "fantastic" by managing director Stuart Broadhurst, nothing has been able to rescue the factory from falling demand. Demand is falling of course because of the collapse of wages  and cheap imports with European brands manufactured in Asia. This is all part of the "race to the bottom".

The capitalist system is collapsing and is being replaced by, as Citigroup put it, "Plutonomy" - an economic system, largely consumed by and directed for the interests of the wealthy "managerial aristocracy". As Citigroup described this emerging new economic structure and paradigm in glowing terms, their only niggle was the possibility that the peasants might notice (that they were being ripped off and somehow) get angry. Perhaps for silly reasons like flat wages while price rises put essential goods out of reach. Here in New Zealand wages in real terms fell 25% since 1990 while GDPPP rose 80% So we're are working nearly twice as hard and we are seeing less than what we used to get for the value of our labour. Who's stealing from us as we work so hard for less? It's not the taxes, they have reduce taxes, and public services and consequently the ability of the economy to recover. So we can't blame the taxman. Who determines how much we get? Employers - in short  the economic collapse of the broad money economy is their own damned fault. But more correctly, it's the fault of the ideas that drive the behavior, this misanthropic mistrusting chiseling attitude that allows employers to pay less than a decent wage, a livable wage.

That niggle, the one Citigroup had that might one day be a threat to the Utopian "plutonomy", It's got legs. And feet, feet that are carrying American voters to polls in numbers never seen before. We see clashes of large protests in South America against the Trans Pacific Partnership. Even a mass protest in Auckland (we have not seen protests like that since the mid Eighties protesting to keep nuclear armed naval vessels out of our harbours), The UK has seen mass protests against the scam known as austerity. Many countries will soon see mass protests against the corruption of the Panama Papers - Iceland has already kicked off with calls for their implicated Primeminister to resign. After their banksters ruined the Icelandic economy, they are understandably somewhat more sensitive about financial irregularities and political corruption.

So in conclusion, the old order of whale-eats-minnow plutonomic capitalism is in free collapse. The media is highly distrusted as it is part of the plutonomy, so PR spin through these channels is failing. A new social focus, and movements are arising to sidestep the parties of established vested interest and will soon replace them. The privations of the plutonomy are already intolerable, from the economic deprivation of income inequality, to the street violence of out of control law enforcement officers, to Gaza the modern Auschwitz (with due respect to those who call themselves Jewish, those who call bombings of Gaza "mowing the lawn" are in I my mind the some of the most anti-Semitic people on the planet). These social movements are winning politically, they are forcing and demanding changes, they are winning.

There is much still to be done.  The establishment is failing to maintain its strangle hold on power. It won't be easy, their will be many more scandals, many more crimes to be uncovered. Metaphorically many more corpses to be uncovered some in advanced stages of decomposition(decomp). Any medical examiner or CSI will tell you the best way to cope with the melliferous odours of decomp is to apply Vaseline to the nasal passages. So if you see a story, exposing the crimes of the established order, shows establishment politicians boosting failed lies, or demonstrates their failure to maintain control (even of themselves like Sarah Palin), I invite  you to share or comment on that story with #smellEstablishmentDecomp. Adding "and pass the Vaseline" is good too, because it says we are not shying away from the awfulness but facing it to take action to stop and bring justice to the unjust. It was originally a one line joke, but I realised soon after, there is something profound in its dark humour.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Bad inflation - not a reason against unconditional basic income

"Well, " they say "if you increase wages, or benefits, the inflation boogeyman will eat your children" or something similar. It almost sounds convincing, premised on the free market law of supply and demand, Yes demand increases. But so do the opportunities for people to meet that demand, and trials of unconditional basic income have shown that communities and individuals are more than willing to work and increase supply, and so successful are they at meeting market demand prices fall.

Also price pressure reduces because labour costs fall for such enterprises, as workers supported by the UBI, choose to work not because they need the money, but because they see the value of the work product to their community. And profits from the enterprise can benefit the community as a whole.
For the individual or family group, they can enrich their lives by contributing time to the community, and perhaps starting and enterprise of the their own, creating further down pressure in whatever market they choose.

Corporations and billionaires enjoy inflation it drives their increasing prices. In the 80's they gave us 12% mortgage rates, and now the can  today scare those us over 30 us into fearing high inflation.

Today, we see job disappearing as manufacturing production is shifted to South  and East Asia and china brands itself as factory floor to the world. But all hush hush on the long work shifts and high suicide rates.  If think your neighbours can continue to support themselves and their families, purely "good honest work" it may be worth noting not even National is willing to make that bold claim, which the would have to in order to kill "Working for Families" tax credits.

Today, a $25 Child Hardship addon for families on benefits starts. While not universal, it will stimulate demand, companies will hire, especially in food production and clothing retail. While it is tempting to think this is a handout to "lazy poor second class citizens better off enslaved or euthanized" (as is the attitude of some) It is actually more of a handout to the retail sector, so if you are against "handouts" be consistent, Briscoes, the Warehouse, and welfare queens like Anadarko, Tag Oil, the woolworths chain. The Aussie banks. And the others who slide on NZ$6b in tax evasion.

You might also stop asking for hand outs like the building and maintenance of roads universities, hospitals, if you are sick build your own hospital. Like to travel build your own private road, because by you own hypothesis you can't use public roads, at least without being a chisling hypocrite.

Monday, I had a conversation with someone who "worked hard" "from the age of 14" owned his own home, who seemed unmovable on the idea that hand outs to lazy people were unacceptable to him. Then he stepped aboard a bus - public transport - bloody leach ;)